Originally Posted by Salvuccim
How do people like the ArcTeryx sidewinders? Any big differences between the SV and the AR?
I love my Arc Sidewinder AR and think that it is plenty of jacket for general use skiing. I see the SV as overkill unless you are backcountry skiing in nasty weather. Fit on the AR is fairly athletic, but not overly so. I'm 6' 1' and 185 and the medium fits me with room to spare for layers. The sidewinder zipper takes a bit of getting used to, but is fine after you do.
As for general jacket recommendations, I've been happy with the North Face, Marmot, and Mountain Hardwear stuff I'd had. The Arc'teryx stuff I've bought recently is a big step up in fit and finish.
Hardshell with multiple layering options is the way to go. I also have an Arc'teryx softshell for days without lots of precipitation and like it as well. The softshell breathes much better than the hardshell when you are skiing hard.
Heavy weight fleece for really cold days
Light fleece for warmer days
Some type of vest which you can use under the shell on even warmer days, or under either of the fleeces to add core warmth.
I find myself skiing most often in a baselayer, vest and shell most of the time down to about 20-25 degrees and adding a fleece if it's colder than that.
Good luck on your search!